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Demonstration against the conscription law

In the foreground the statue of Alexander II with the back towards the spectator. Behind it the Cossacks are lined up in the background with their horses, the demonstrators in the foreground. A crowd has gathered round the square.
Demonstration against the conscription law, i.e. the so-called Cossack Riots on the Senate Square in April 1902. The conscription law abolished Finland's own army and obliged Finns to participate in the defence of their motherland, Russia. People demonstrating against the law and military conscription began throwing stones, ice cubes, and bottles at the Cossacks who attempted to maintain order, resulting in a violent confrontation. In the picture, the Cossacks are lined up in the background with their horses, the demonstrators in the foreground.